Album Review

Tres Cabrones

Tres Cabrones

by Melvins

7.5 / 10
25th November 2013

Reviewed by Paul Larsen

Dale Crover must be a contender for the longest stand-in drummer of all time. In 1984, Crover was recruited into Roger (Buzz) Osborne's high school band, Melvins to replace the outgoing Mike Dillard who had departed before the band's first album was completed. 30 years later, Crover has handed the sticks back to Dillard and switched to bass for the band's 19th studio album. Essentially, this is the reunion tour for the band that never left.

Back in the heady early eighties, and after a stint of Cream, Hendrix and The Who covers, the band discovered the brutal punk/metal of Black Flag and the music took on a dark twist which has yet to straighten out thirty years on. Tres Cabrones was never going to depart too much from this formula but for Melvins fans, that isn't the point. From Osbourne’s frenzied, fuzzy riffs on opener 'Doctor Mule', to the sludge-metal standard of 'American Cow' and the punk sentiment of 'Walters Lips', all the hallmarks of a solid Melvins record are present. Even the puerile humour of the tongue-in-cheek interludes can't derail the momentum and serves only to add further weight to the immediately following tracks.

There might not be anything revolutionary here but Tres Cabrones does enough to earn a period of high rotation for fans, past and present. Brash, slick and comfortably fun, this is a fitting birthday celebration for one of the best from rock's fringes.